With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The Devine family opened Fired Up Paint Your Own Pottery Studio to share their love of art with their community. Co-owner Orien, a painter himself, helms clay and painting classes, while his younger brother, Ayden, assists visitors in painting their own bisque pieces. Along with their other family members, the twosome instills the studio with a familial ambience not found outside of family reunions or goldfish funerals in the backyard.
An expansive all-crochet site, Maggie's Crochet helps yarn wielders hone their craft by stocking more than 4,000 patterns and 100 instructional videos, as well as supplies from distributors worldwide. Harness the warmth-providing power of afghans with the instructional book of patterns called Take-Along Afghans ($7.95), or stock up on a spectrum of colorful yarns from Twinkle Yarn ($2.59 each). Crocheters can prevent pots from calling potholders black by creating a vibrant, vintage floral potholder ($7.99). A crocheted tea set ($7.99) won't break when ill-mannered guests claim a seat on the tea tray.
At Hot Yoga Largo, sweltering hot classrooms spark a rejuvenating release for muscles. Sweat and trapped toxins expel out of the body?s pores as instructors link static yoga poses into an up-tempo tapestry of movement. Students can also venture outside of the studio for energizing classes held on the beach, sliding through poses as the sun peeks its head over the water.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
The team at 4Ever Fitness believes there are four main elements of fitness: active stretching, strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and balanced nutrition. To help their members succeed in these steps, they have dedicated spaces for each of those elements, and they stay open 24/7 so that workouts can fit into any schedule. The cardio area entertains exercisers with flat-screen LCD televisions playing multiple channels, all dialed in to different FM radio stations and tin cans tied to neighboring houses. Both the circuit-training and strength-training areas host a variety of Hammer Strength and Life Fitness machines for independent workouts. The staff stocks the stretching area with floor mats, instructional guides, and exercise balls to help members limber up before and after workouts.
The staff also maintains a separate Pro-Fit Area, where exclusive members have private access to a freshly set and cleaned spread of equipment. At least one trainer is always on hand during staffed hours to spot-check gold members' exercise technique and offer workout advice. Personal trainers also craft customized fitness programs to meet the goals of any client, whether they just want to lose a few pounds or they're starting a new life as a Paul Bunyan?impersonator.